CITY of Greater Bendigo council staff will recommend council refuse a proposed development at 25 Alliance Avenue and 26-28 Youlden Street, California Gully at the council meeting on Monday evening.
The proposed Bendigo development received 29 objections from members of the public who cited contamination concerns over the former Alliance Mine site as well as community safety concerns.
Levels of heavy metals including mercury were also found to exceed the EPA clean fill criteria.
Despite the environmental assessment, council staff argue the planning permit could be approved if appropriate measures are taken to remove contaminants.
These measures include scraping up land and forming a Site Remediation Plan.
While the contamination forms a major part of community objections, the majority of objectors cited safety concerns over the development proposal.
One community member said the concept of grouping affordable housing into several adjacent dwellings was "outdated" and "lazy".
"Eaglehawk deserves better," they said.
"For many years the township and surrounds has been the butt of jokes because of its socio-economic demographic always being in the headlines.
"Our people in need deserve better. Developments like these may put a roof over their heads but the long-term damage to them, loss of opportunities and health related issues is the price they pay."
However, council staff said social concerns were beyond the breadth of their ability to substantiate.
"Property devaluation, the potential to attract low socio-economic residents to the area and a resulting increase in crime have been cited in some of the objections," council staff said.
"These matters are difficult to substantiate and are not planning related grounds and as such, no further commentary on their merits is provided."
Other community concerns included traffic and parking issues, lack of diversity in housing types (only 3 bedroom dwellings are proposed) and noise.
While council staff ultimately recommended the application be refused, council will vote on the proposed development on Monday evening.'
*A previous version of this article stated the development was a social housing investment by the Victorian government's Big Build project. That was incorrect and has been rectified. The Bendigo Advertiser regrets any inconvenience caused.*
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